Diagnosis: A bad idea

Obamacare fails on a number of fronts

During oral arguments last week, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg seemed concerned largely with whether the federal health-care law is a good idea.

That’s not the court’s job.

That’s our job.

But on this front too, the law fails in almost every way possible.

First and foremost, the polls have consistently said Americans don’t approve of the law. Justice Antonin Scalia joked this week that merely reading the 2,700-page monstrosity is tantamount to the “cruel and unusual punishment” that the Eighth Amendment forbids.

It’s easy to forget, too, the naked vote-buying that went on to pass the bill – a fairly common occurrence, but in this case brazen and unseemly as never before.

Consider, too, how ominous this is: The Internal Revenue Service is seeking over $303 million for Obamacare compliance, and wants to hire 4,000 new agents. If you thought the IRS was invasive in financial matters, wait until they start poring through your medical information.

And then there’s the cost of Obamacare. The Congressional Budget Office predicts premiums will rise at a faster rate than they have been, and some say the overall costs of the law may be nearly double the initial estimates.

There’s precedent for that: They also vastly underestimated the cost of Medicare when that program began, as well.

Then there is the potential for regulatory tyranny, some of which we’ve already seen – in the case of Obama administration rules attempting to require religious institutions opposed to birth control and abortion pills to provide them in their insurance packages.

And there’s the little matter of the law’s 15-member Independent Payment Advisory Panel, whose job is to reduce Medicare costs – but whose recommendations automatically become law.

“In other words,” writes Florida Republican Congressman Allen West, “the unelected IPAB, appointed by the president, essentially becomes its own shadow legislative branch.”

It’s interesting, notes Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., that the two-year anniversary of the law’s passage passed last week without fanfare. Why, if it’s such a great achievement?

“As the unaffordable costs of Obamacare become undeniable and government control over every aspect of American life becomes unbearable,” Stearns writes, “it’s hard to find anyone willing to celebrate the law ...”

And if the law is such a good idea, why did so many around the country seek temporary opt-out waivers? Notably, and ominously, many of the waivers went to unions and other interests connected to Democrats in Washington.

How can it possibly be a good idea to allow those in power to arbitrarily exempt their friends from the laws the rest of us are obligated to follow?

The legal case, for which the Supreme Court heard arguments last week and will issue a ruling in June, is only about whether the government has the constitutional authority to pass and implement Obamacare.

The other question is whether it’s even a good idea to.

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